JOHOR BARU: Selangor’s Ken Worden is facing his “most difficult football season” as coach of the Malaysia Cup champions, who plunged into deeper waters in Premier I after the 1-2 defeat by Sarawak at the Shah Alam Stadium last Saturday.
And with four of his senior players called up for national training, the Australian is looking at the darker side.
He conceded that statistics now showed that the Red Giants, currently in 10th place, did not have the ability to mount a challenge to finish among the top six, which gives teams automatic places in the Super League next year.
The players Selangor will lose to the national team are goalkeeper Azmin Azram Abdul Aziz, defender Nizam Jamil, midfielder Mohamed Shukor Adan and striker Mohamed Nizaruddin Yusof.
“Thing have not fallen nicely for us. The Charity Shield match (against Penang) was taken away ... then out of the blue came the announcement of the eight-team Super League. It is unbelievable,” said Worden in a telephone interview.
“Playing at home is no advantage when you are without four of your national players. We never had a key player in every department, except for the goalkeeper. If you don’t have the right resources to fight, you are at the receiving end.
“I am sure if the management had known about the Super League, they would have gone and signed some capable experienced players instead of looking at development.
“We don’t have a formidable squad to go along with the seniors. We were looking at grooming some youngsters and throw them into the fray along the way as part of our grooming programme.”
Worden said that the match against Sarawak was “an all-important one” and they now have their backs against the wall following the defeat.
“Sarawak had too much pace for us. They (Sarawak) have improved a lot from last year,” said Worden, who is now looking at one match at a time to pick up the pieces, starting with the home match against 11th-placed Kelantan on Saturday.
“We are not negative of ideas but we don’t have the right resources to face our opponents. Our present situation is quite precarious.”